tv U.S. Senate 11072017 CSPAN November 7, 2017 10:00am-12:57pm EST
trade for him. stephen and her angle is up to be assistant attorney general and john gibbons for the chief investment officer at the pentagon. both nominations are scheduled for noon eastern today. said that lawmakers will take a break between 1230 and 2:00 eastern to attend a caucus lunches. life to the senate floor here on c-span2. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. o god, our father, help us this day to love and serve one another in ways that honor your name. may our lawmakers manifest a
courtesy that brings about constructive change. grant our senators a tolerance so that they may not be quick to condemn ideas that differ from their own. lord, give them such integrity so that their work may be their best whether there is anyone to see it or not. bless and keep us all. shine your wisdom upon us, doing for us more than we can ask or imagine. we pray in your great name, amen.
the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: as we all know, the senate has been quite busy.
legislatively, we've been hard at work on everything from budgets to disaster relief to consumer protections to tax reform. on the nominations front, we've taken strong action to strengthen the judiciary, including confirming a slate of
very well-qualified nominees in recent days. this week we're continuing our work to staff up the rest of the government as well. this is one of the senate's most important functions and one we take seriously. we're currently considering men and women who have been nominated to serve in many different roles at many different agencies. the one thing they all share in common is this: they're ready to get to work, and the sooner we confirm them, the sooner they can get on with the job for our country. first we'll vote to confirm john gibson as deputy chief management officer at the department of defense. he'll be responsible for increasing efficiency throughout the department's business operations. afterward, the senate will continue its consideration of steven engel who will serve as the deputy attorney general in the department of justice office of legal counsel.
and then the next nomination we will consider is that of peter robb to serve as the general counsel of the national labor relations board. for most of its 80-year existence, the nlrb has had the important responsibility of supporting stable labor relations by acting as a fair and impartial umpire in the resolution of labor disputes. unfortunately, that changed under the previous administration, which wielded its board majority as an anti-majority political cudgel. instead of the board's historic commitment to impartially applying the law, the nlrb's obama-appointed democratic majority put forward policies that diminished the righ rightst the expense of workers and the middle class. thankfully you this senate recently confirmed a new majority to the nlrb that is
already beginning to undo the damage of the past eight years. now we have the opportunity to build upon that good work with the nomination of mr. robb. the nlrb's general counsel is responsible for investigating cases of unfair labor practices and for advancing cases before the board and its members. mr. robb will fulfill these duties under the aegis of a new board majority that is returning the nlrb to its true mission once more. labor policy is not simply some theoretical abstraction. for mr. ; he knows what it moo -- for mr. robb, he knows what it meanings to work as a hospital orderly, forklift operator, or highway sign maker because he himself has worked in all these jobs before. after law school, robb gained valuable experience in employment law. his previous leadership roles including as an nlrb regional
field attorney and chief counsel to a board member contribute to making robb an ideal candidate to serve as the board's general counsel. i look forward to voting to advance this nomination, and i urge my colleagues to join me in helping retort nlrb to the -- to restore the nlrb to the umpire of labor disputes it was meant to be. our complex tax code is in desperate need of reform. we now have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform it. we all want an economy that reaches for its potential again. we all want to support small businesses and the middle class. tax reform represents the single most important action we can take today to advance goals like these. i've heard from many kentuckians calling for relief from our outdated and burdensome tax code. listen to this small business owner from murray, kentucky be, who wrote to my office about his struggles under our current tax code. this is what he said. i'm writing to stress the
importance of tax reform to small businesses. as a small business owner, i've been saddled with tax burdens since i began my business eight years ago. tax reform for small business and families needs to be done immediately, he continued, so we can have some economic hope once again. small businesses just like this one are calling out for relief. so are families. so are middle-class workers all across our country. instead of better opportunities, our tax code gives them a complicated web of schedules, deductions, and religions, a by -- and regulations, a byzantine system that's impossible for many to understand. it's time for a system that actually helps the middle class succeed and actually encourages small businesses to grow, invest, and hire. we want to help families plan for their future. we want to get the economy going again and growing again p. most of all, we want to take
more money out of washington's pockets and put more money in the pockets of the middle class. to accomplish these goals, both the house and the senate are continuing to move forward to deliver tax reform. yesterday the house ways and means committee completed its first day of discussing the house legislative proposal unveiled last week. that bill, the tax cuts and jocks act, builds upon the unified tax reform framework and reflects goals shared by president trump, republicans in the house, and our conference here in the senate. priorities shared by americans in both parties all across our country. later this morning a group of senators, administration officials, and tax reform advocates will highlight the benefits for families, small businesses, and the american economy. they'll share their constituen constituents' calls for tax reform. the senate finance committee will continue its work on this important issue as well. chairman hatch will continue to
lead the committee through an open proficiency giving members the -- open process, giving themselves the opportunity to offer amendments and work together to take another big step forward. i'm grateful for the work of both chairman brady and chairman hatch to get us to this point. we still have a lot of work to do. but
we are committed to passing tax reform to help our nation reach its full potential. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for debate only until 11:00 a.m. with senators permitted to speak therein. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: later this week -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: now on taxes, later this week,
the house will begin marking up the republican tax plan. record speed. no hearings. no real discussion. and unfortunately senate republicans are mimicking the house in trying to rush through
their bill as well. and it is said that the senate republicans will unveil the plan of their own. although i don't expect there to be that much difference between the two. now, what has united the republican tax reform effort so far in this congress has been a stubborn desire to reduce taxes paid by big corporations and the super rich. that's the core. the middle class ends up with the leftovers, and shockingly, millions in the middle class will actually see a tax increase. not just a handful, but a large number. this morning's "new york times" did an analysis. according to them, one-third of all middle-class families would pay more in taxes next year under the house bill, and by 2026, half, half, nearly half of all middle-class families would pay more in taxes.
almost half. here's the newspaper article. this is "the new york times," and they defined median income and middle class as households between 50,000 -- $50,000 and $160,000. the backbone of america. here is their med line. i don't know if you can see it. republican plan would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families. here's the headline again. printed a little larger so everyone here in america can see it. republican plan would raise taxes on millions of middle-class families. that's the case. they did their analysis. and by the way, you say well, that's mainly in the coastal states. even if it's not one-third, it's probably about 20% in the poorest of states. large numbers of middle-class taxpayers in every state in this union, coastal, noncoastal, new
york, california, but also wyoming and utah, would pay -- nebraska, would pay a significant tax increase. looking at the house bill, you can see why. republicans either reduce or eliminate several middle-class tax deductions. the elimination of the personal deduction, for example, which lets families deduct roughly $451 for each person in their household would be costly to families of three or more. it's sort of if if you have a lot of kids, this bill's bad for you. taxwise, if tax policy influences behavior, they're trying to discourage bigger families. what does that say? ending the personal exemption makes the republican tax plan an
anti-large family bill. in many cases, the new benefits provided to the middle class are insufficient to fill the gap created by the loss of popular deductions. and worse, many of the benefits are temporary, expiring after several years. so while some in the middle class may get an initial tax break, down the line the break disappears and taxes start to go up. as pointed out by david kamen, a professor of law at n.y.u., and they have a great department, republicans have reduced the value of middle-class tax breaks significantly over time. to meet their desires not to increase the deficit by too much, although $1.5 trillion is a heck of a lot, instead of reducing the tax breaks on the biggest corporations or the very wealthiest, they reduced them on the middle class. so in five years' time, the $300
person family credit is gone. the child tax credits, unlike the personal exemptions which they replace, loses value over time because they're not indexed. they don't increase with inflation. and the republicans use the same gimmicks to make the value of middle-class deductions like the standard deduction lose value over time. so while some middle-class families may see a tax decrease in the very short run, a considerable number see a hidden tax increase a few years later. they have frontloaded the benefits to disguise a tax hike in the out-years. look at this chart. now, our republican colleagues picked the perfect family to benefit from their tax break, middle-class family when they proposed it, a family of -- making $59,000 a year. well, the institute for taxation and economic policy looked at
the republican plan and found over one in five taxpayers, those earning between $56,000 and $150,000, the heart of the middle class, would see an average increase of $1,350 by 2027. here it is. this is not a family that has medical expenses or kids in college. they lose those deductions, or a large mortgage or from a state with high personal and -- personal income and sales taxes. this is the plain vanilla hand-picked family chosen by the republicans to highlight the benefits of their plan, and it is true. in the first year, they get a break, around $1,100. but over the years, they get an increase, so by 2027, even this hand-picked republican family gets a tax increase. the bottom line, the republican tax plan is like a ticking time
bomb for many hardworking middle-class families. working and middle-class families see a tax increase because the republican plan reduces their benefits over time. meanwhile, tax giveaways for the wealthiest americans and huge corporations get better over time. the estate tax exemption goes up from $11 million to $22 million for a couple, and then is permanently repealed by 2023. the corporate rate cut and pass-through cut also stays permanent, a boon to wealthy shareholders. the middle-class tax deductions and credits expire. deductions for corporations and the wealthiest are permanent or even get better. as mark mazer, the director of the independent tax policy center said, you can create a
plan that just cuts taxes for middle-class people. that's not what this is. that's his quote. yet that's how republicans are selling it. a few days -- again, a few days ago on the lou hewitt show, my friend, the majority leader, said quote -- this is his quote -- at the end of the day, nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase under the republican bill. again, mitch mcconnell. nobody in the middle class is going to get a tax increase. well, if leader mcconnell was referring to the house bill, that's just a bold-faced lie, and he ought to retract it. but to give my friend the benefit of the doubt, maybe he is referring to the senate tax bill still under consideration. let's see. is the republican -- in the republican bill, will nobody in the middle class get a tax increase? we're waiting and seeing. if past is prologue, i doubt it,
because house leaders said no middle-class person would get an increase, and then their bill walloped the middle class. the third get an increase immediately. the middle class get an increase over the next ten years. i would remind my senate republican colleagues that their house republicans sold their bill as a middle-class bill, a middle-class tax cut, and then put together a plan that raises taxes on millions of middle-class families. a third of all families making between $65,000 and $150,000. if the senate bill follows the same path, promising universal middle-class tax cuts but delivering smoke and mirrors and hidden tax increases, it will get clobbered in the court of public opinion, as it would deserve.
i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. murphy: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: i ask to dissuspension with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will consider the following nomination. the clerk: nomination, department of defense, john h. gibson, ii, of texas to be deputy chief management officer. the presiding officer: there will be 60 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form. the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, we are grieving yet again today. there's been another horrific mass shooting in texas -- in a church in texas. 35 dead, we were barely past our stage of grief when 30 people were shot dead and 500 injured
at a country music concert in las vegas. every single night parents, brothers, and sisters go to bed having lost their loved ones. 90 people die every day from gun violence. this is not something that we should accept. we are not impotent or helpless to try to change the scope of tragedy that is crippling for families that have to go through this. i just want you to take a quick look at this pretty simple chart. the united states has more guns and more gun deaths than any other developed country, and it is not close. we are not even in the
neighborhood of any of our other g-20 competitor nations. and while the president told us the other day that this was a mental illness problem, you cannot explain this outlier status through mental illness because none of these other countries have any lower rate of mental illness. there are just as many people who are mentally ill in these countries as there are in our country. you cannot explain it by the attention we pay to mental illness. we spend more money on treating mental illness than these countries do. this isn't a mental illness problem. we've got to do better in treating people who have psychological disorders in this country, but the reason ta we are an outlier nation when it comes to the number of gun deaths and the epic scale of our
mass tragedies is explained by something else. here's a quick story for you. here are the states that have background check requirements on all gun sales in the private sector. here's the states that have no background check laws beyond those that are required in federal law. it's a fundamentally different story when it comes to gun-related homicides. in states that have background check laws, the average rate of homicide is substantially lower -- substantially lower -- than in states that have background check laws. that's because in this country, with the loosest, laxest gun laws in the industrialized world, with private citizens
able to get their hands on weapons designed, not for hunting, not for shooting for sport, but to kill, these tactical assault-style weapons that are being used over and over again in these mass tragedies -- more people end up in harm's way. smarter gun laws, just making sure that the right people have gun, not the wrong people, leads to less gun deaths. and so it's time for us to admit that this is a uniquely american problem, and it deserves our attention rather than our silence which has been our response every single session that i have been a member of congress. these are but a few of the faces
that have been lost to gun violence in this country. my small town of sandy hook is a broken community. it's a beautiful, wonderful community, but it's a broken community because of the ripples of grief that come with losing that number of children -- beautiful children -- at one time. it never really gets repaired. that small community in texas, sutherland springs will suffer that same fate. it will be a community that will never ever truly repair itself having lost so many beautiful people at one moment. you cannot rewind the clock. and so it is increasingly impossible for me to continue to go back to newtown, connecticut, and tell the people of that community that after mass murder after mass murder in this country at a scale that occurs
in no other nation that our response as a body is to do nothing. it is a level of callousness that is, frankly, unexplainable to the victims of this violence and this club of families that had to deal with the consequences of gun violence is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. why? because the number of people who died by guns isn't going down. it isn't leveling off in this country. it's exploding. every year more people, not less people, are killed by guns in this country. and it seems to be the only problem that there is zero interest in this body to solve. when a terrorist plows into civilians with a truck in new york city, republicans in this body are talking about policy
change within hours, but after somebody walks into a school or a church or a shopping mall, we're told that there has to be a restraining order on policy debate for days. it's ridiculous and it's offensive to the families that have gone through this. and so let's just, for a moment, set aside the issues that i will admit are unlikely to come up for a vote in this body between now and the end of this session. i think it's unbelievable that universal background checks supported by 90% of americans can't get a vote here. i don't think there's another issue like that in the american public where 90% of americans agree on something and congress can't even conceive of getting it done. the only place where background
checks are controversial sl -- are in congress. everyone i talked to want to make sure that criminals and the mentally ill cannot buy guns. it is not a coincidence the same kind of weapon is used every single time in the mass shootings. these are copycat shootings where people see the kind of destructions that come with an ar-15 style of web and they use it again. wake up. wake up to the reality that these weapons are being used to murder with speed and power and that killers are watching what happens in sandy hook and what happens in texas and what happens in orlando, what happens in las vegas and they are repeating the process. they are replicating the weapon. it shouldn't be in the hands of
civilians. you can have plenty of fun hunting without an ar-15 or ar-15 style of weapon. let's set aside universal background checks for a moment. i get the publics of this place. i understand that those are unlikely to pass. why, then, can't we work on the things that we know we can agree on? i have listened to dozens of republicans in the house and the senate claim that they are for making real the prohibition on automatic weapons. people shouldn't have fully automatic weapons in this country. nobody should be table to do what that guy did out of an upper store window at a hotel in las vegas. and the law that we all passed is being ignored by companies that are selling these after-market modifications that turn semiautomatic weapons into automatic weapons.
the company that sold the modification took it off the market but only for a couple of weeks. they are back to selling bump stocks again because we signaled that we're not going to do anything about it. it's not enough to tell the a -- a.t.f. why? the a.t.f. said it was vague in 2010, all we have to do is clarify that after modifications that turn semiautomatic weapons into automatic weapons shouldn't be legal. i have listened to so many republicans say they are willing to take this step. let's take it. stop talking about it. put legislation on the floor that says you cannot have an automatic weapon in this country. let's do it. we agree on it. i don't agree with the president yesterday when he said it's a mental illness problem, but similarly, we could work together to make sure that people who are seriously
mentally ill don't buy weapons. that's the second policy proposal that is not controversial, that we could work together on. and yet let's just admit we're going the wrong way, not the right way. republicans passed earlier this year a piece of legislation that will allowed for 75,000 people in this country who have serious mental illness to be able to get off the list of prohibited purchasers and start buying guns again. these are people who were judged to be so mentally ill that they couldn't deposit a check. they were given conserve -- conservator status, people who are so mentally ill, so limited in their cognitive abilities that they couldn't take a social security check and deposit it. those people were prohibited
from buying guns. this congress passed a law earlier this year to say that those people who can't deposit a check should be able to go buy an assault weapon. if we're serious about trying to stop people with mental illness from getting weapons, let's work together on that instead of moving backwards. and finally, it isn't an open secret that the existing background check system is broken. let's not pretend we just woke up yesterday in amazement that the records of people who are seriously mentally ill or have been convicted of crimes aren't ending up on the background checks list. i'm holding in my hand the data that is available to every single one of us about the records that are being uploaded on to the background check system. no the department of defense,
it's a whole bunch of zeros. the army, the navy, the air force, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero, zero. but similarly, states aren't doing their part either. connecticut uploaded 363,000 felony records this year as -- excuse me -- over the course of 2016. colorado uploaded 10 felony records in 2016. new york uploaded -- excuse me -- 57,000 domestic violence records in 2016. north carolina uploaded 261. there aren't 261 people in north carolina that were convicted of domestic violence crimes in
2016. it's just that only 261 people went up on the list. many other states like the department of defense have zeros in all of these columns. many states are uploading no records on to the system. now, admittedly next tries to -- nix tries to get those records through other means when states don't give it to them but it is an open secret that the system is broken. now, this is a place where congress at least tried to make some changes after the virginia tech shooting, congress did pass a nix improvement bill but it has not worked. it gave the department of justice the power to with hold federal funding if states don't upload records. despite the fact that there are a handful of states that have uploaded no records, zero, no state has been penalized under that 2007 law. that's not a democratic or republican problem.
democratsiwhy don't wework toge. the house a couple of years ago passed additional funding to help states, other jurisdictions upload records. why don't we find a way to work together to at least make the existing background system work. this feeling of helplessness that people have in this country, this feeling of impotence that nothing can be done to change the trajectory of violence in this country, the regular scroll across the bottom of your tv screen telling you news of the latest mass shooting where little kids and senior citizens are being gunned down in churches and schools, that sense of help -- sense of helplessness isn't real. it's a fiction, an invention of the gun lobby designed to make this place feel as if there's nothing that can be done in order to make sure that they can continue to make these obscene president as of profits.
there are things we can do. and i understand that despite the popularity of background checks in the public, we're probably not going to get a vote on that. but let's work together to make sure that automatic weapons can't be in the hands of civilians. let's make real the very simple premise that seriously mentally ill people shouldn't be able to buy guns. let's fix the background check system so that as republicans tell us over and over again, at least we can enforce existing law. there are ways that we can stop this slaughter, and i don't know how we live with ourselves, how we sleep at night as a body if in the face of these massacres, we don't even do the stuff that we all agree on. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i come before this body a second
day in a row to talk about an event that the senator from connecticut has been referring to that has shocked all of us. it's rattled us to the very core and shocked the conscience of the entire nation. i didn't get a chance to hear everything he said about this today, but i was encouraged to hear him make comments about fixing the background check system, which i think failed us terribly here and it failed, of course, to the 26 people who lost their lives and the 20 more that were injured in this terrible shooting in sutherland springs, texas, during a sunday morning church service at first baptist church. of course in times like this we need to respect the right and the need of people to mourn and to grieve their loss and to express our solidarity with those families that were torn apart. one woman who's lived in sutherland springs for nearly 70
years described the community as a place where everybody knew everybody. she said that before sunday, most people didn't even keep their doors locked because the town never experienced any significant crime. well, now that's changed. sutherland springs has suffered at the hands of a man that initial reports have described as having a known history of violence, a man whose victims included his own grandmothe grandmother-in-law as well as the visiting pastor of the church. no community finds it easy to deal with unexpected heartbreaking losses like this. but the fact that this crime involves so many tightly knit friends and neighbors and occurred in a house of worship on a sunday morning and harmed so many innocent children makes the task much, much harder. as each new detail emerges if what is still an ongoing investigation, we need to study the whole puzzle, ask ourselves
how did this happen, why so many lives were lost and what if anything could have been done to prevent it. we know, for example, that the gunman was court martialed by the air force and convicted of serious domestic abuse fracturing the skull of his own son. under the relevant federal law, the gun control act of 1968, this should have been prohibited -- should have prohibited him from ever purchasing a gun in the first place, but we know it didn't. this critically important information from the suspect's criminal hiss river was not uploaded into the relevant background check databases, even though a federal law clearly requires that it be done. and finally, most troubling, we know what happened next.
mr. kelley unlawfully purchased four firearms after passing federal background checks that did not turn up his air force convictions. and of course the shooter lied on his paperwork. he was asked about these convictions. that's part of the background check system but because there was no record of it, he was able to lie his way into getting these firearms. this is very clearly a problem and the air force has now admitted that kelley's conviction should have barred him from ever purchasing or possessing firearms. what appears to have happened is that the records of the convictions were not uploaded into the national instant criminal background check system. they are required to be uploaded by federal law already. well, there's still some -- while there's still some questions to sift through but i plan to introduce legislation and i would be happy to work with my colleague from
connecticut to ensure that all federal departments and agencies, including the department of defense, upload the required conviction records into the national database. this legislation will also encourage to the greatest extent possible under the constitution state and local governments to do the same. we can make the federal agencies do it. we can only request that the states do it as the senator from connecticut pointed out earlier. and their record of compliance is lousy. it's lousy. justice department records indicate that some federal agencies and state governments are failing to comply with the federal law. according to the department of justice, the number of these records that are actually uploaded is staggeringly low. that is unacceptable and it must change. what's important to note though is when the dust settles, the appropriate answers won't necessarily be the easy ones. but the fact remains that under existing law, this atrocity should have been prevented.
this gunman should not have been allowed to purchase firearms and should have been arrested when he tried to do so. we need to better understand why our existing laws didn't work in this instance and that's what my proposal -- my proposed legislation will do. after analyzing the problem, we'll try to ensure that everyone is complying with the law. in 2015, i introduced legislation called the mental health and safe communities act that addressed a related issue, the failure of state and local authorities to upload valuable mental health records into the nics background check database. i hope this demonstrates my willingness to work together with anybody who's willing to meet these problems head-on. right now we need time and clarity. we need to know and continue to study the facts. then as we've already stated, already started to do, we need to consider all existing laws and regulations both at the state and federal in light of
this new information. mr. president, i know we're coming up on a deadline here. i'd ask unanimous consent to speak for an additional five minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president, as we wait for additional details, i want to say just a few more words about the strong community of sutherland springs. one just 35 miles from my hometown of san antonio, texas, where i grew up. first baptist church where the shooting occurred has served as a mainstay in the town since 1926. it's the site of church services every sunday, of weddings, social gatherings, and even some funerals. we hope that the first baptist church can bounce back from this tragedy, and i'm confident they can because faith, hope, and love can never be extinguished no matter the depravity, the evil that tries.
we're not sure what will happen to the building or the congregation itself, but no matter what, the unique spirit of this community will no doubt endure. i'm hopeful that the town of sutherland springs comes back, too. if people like steve willeford are any indication, it will. stephen, of course, is the plumber that managed to hit the gunman through a gap in his body armor. he was joined by johnnie langendorff in a truck that -- in a truck the for chased the gunman at high speeds for 11 miles into the neighboring guadalupe county. what they displayed is in worst circumstances, we won't let evil have its way. we won't let sick individuals like this shooter escape the consequences of their crimes. strangers will come together and act quickly and courageously to
defend the communities they love and where they live. so today, mr. president, i join governor abbott, my colleague senator cruz, representative henry cuellar in whose house district this occurred and so many others once again presentlying my support to the people of sutherland springs. i send my thoughts and prayers to those who lost parents, children, friends and relatives in this unbelievable act of evil. the -- the biggest danger is that we become number and simply move on to other matters. we can't let that happen as sherry pomeroy said, please don't forget sutherland springs. when we hear people ask us to do something about terrible tragedies like this, let's do
what we can, working together in a bipartisan way, to fix the holes in what is already the law which says that people like shshooter should -- this shooter should never have gotten his hands on a firearm anyway, but through some failure was able to do that. we need to fix that and in doing so we can bring some sense of justice to those who lost so much last sunday in sutherland springs, texas. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i yield back the balance of my time. the presiding officer: without
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 91, the nays are 7. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on the nomination of steven andrew engel to be assistant attorney general. the presiding officer: the question is, is it the sense of
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not the yeas are 51. and the nays are 47. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, stephen andrew engel of the district of columbia to be assistant attorney general. the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. duly noted. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until senate stands in recess until
>> the u.s. senate taking a break so lawmakers may attend the weekly party caucus meetings. senate lawmakers just now taking proper votes and executive nominations for the assistant attorney general. john gibson nominated to be the deputy chief management officer for the defense department. more live senate coverage when the return at 2:15 p.m. eastern karen c-span2. two states elect new governors, virginia ed gillespie, white house advisor to president george w. bush and former head of the rnc is running against democrat ralph northam, i pediatric neurosurgeon. the states lieutenant-governor election updates and victory and concession speeches on the c-span networks as well as c-span.org and with the free c-span radio app. new jersey voting today on who is going to replace republican governor chris christie. his lieutenant governor is running against the democratic nominee former goldman sachs executive and former u.s. ambassador to germany phil
murphy. watch for updates as well as victory and incestuous speeches on the c-span networks -- concession speeches. listen with the free c-span radio app at a live picture practices from the room and longworth house, house ways and means committee spending a second original of the house republican tax reform plan. committee hoping to finish work on the measure this week with four action later this month. we can follow it live all day on our companion network c-span3. c-span3. also online at c-span.org and again listen with the free c-span radio app. we have the complete original bill for you to read. go to c-span.org/congress and that will get you to our congressional chronicle page where you can read all 429 pages of the proposal. a note, any changes to the measure made in the markup session will not be reflected online yet. once the committee completes it works will have updated language for you.
>> the c-span bus is traveling across the country on our 50 capitals to her. we stopped in jefferson city, missouri, and asked folks what's most important issue in their state? >> i kind of concerned about foreign policy. we've had a big change administration, and it's a little bit different than it's been in the last year, or eight years rather. hopefully we can continue to go smoothly. it's been a little rocky at the start but c-span is what helps me keep up-to-date on this. >> i'm really concerned about women's healthcare pretends like it's always under attack and to think in order for me to be truly equal we need to have free control of our body. >> might issue with what i think misery needs is we need good paying job. >> we need people to be able to contribute to society, to contribute to the local area and help serve others. one way you can do that is by having a really, really good job. that's something i'd like to see for the state of missouri. >> i would like to see, try to
help maura of those that are the neediest in our communities. we have project homeless connect. with several other different, significant event in our community. and were trying to make an impact, and if that could be done statewide in every community i think it would make our state may be one of the models for the nation. and i would love to see that. >> might issue is, we need more leaders of the world war ii era, i think. i'm a little on the edge of that, and i just thought, i've been listening to winston churchill and visiting his museum over at fulton, missouri. the people of